Fact Check: Did IIT Kanpur Order Probe to Determine Faiz's Poem 'Hum Dekhenge' is anti-Hindu?
On January,1, 2020, media reports surfaced stating that Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, has set up a high-level committee to probe whether legendary Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz's poem 'Hum Dekhenge' is anti-Hindu or not and also into a complaint that students of the institute allegedly made communal statements during a protest march.
On December 17, around 300 students and a few faculty members of the institute had participated in a peaceful march in solidarity with students of Jamia Millia Islamia and condemned Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA) and National Register Of Citizens(NRC). Post the rally, an IIT-K professor Dr Vashi Mant Sharma lodged a complaint against the students for allegedly raising 'anti-India' and 'communal' slogans.
During the protests, the students recited an Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz's poem 'Hum Dekhenge.' From there, controversy arose and since then IIT Kanpur has been on news. Many media houses including NDTV, The Tribune and The Print covered the news.
IIT Kanpur ordered a probe to identify whether Faiz's poem Hum Dekhenge is anti-Hindu or not
The claim is misleading.
IIT Kanpur did not order a probe to determine whether Faiz's poem Hum Dekhenge is anti-Hindu.
The panel at IIT Kanpur was formed to investigate administrative issues around the event where Faiz's poetry was recited. The panel is going to analyse if proper permissions were taken, if any rules were broken by the organisers or the participants or if some indiscipline took place, and if at all some action needs to be taken, etc.
Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT-K, tweeted his response to these allegations. He clearly stated that IIT-K is against any protest/march.
Speaking to The Logical Indian, Deputy Director of IIT-K, Prof. Manindra Agrawal, said, "The reports appearing in sections of media that the committee is deciding, whether the poem by Faiz is hurtful or not, is not true."
"The committee was formed after the director received several complaints regarding the events that occurred on 17th December on the campus and subsequent social media posts that were made on this event"
Agrawal heads a six-member panel that is conducting an inquiry into a complaint given by a faculty against a 'solidarity with Jamia' event held in the campus on December 17.
"The institute has set up the inquiry not to study the poem but to see if the event [on December 17] violated university rules. The panel will also see if subsequent posts made on social media were inflammatory," he said.
"Moreover it is not in the purview of the committee to decide if the poem is communal or not, our intent is to look at the events that day and to find out whether there is an element of mischief to spread disharmony on campus", he added
"If we find anything like that, the committee will take appropriate actions." The discussions are still going on, the committee will reach a conclusion soon is what he feels.